Northern Expressway suspended

2015-01-19 02:22:07

Review underway to know real cost

The government has decided to suspend the execution of the northern expressway project initiated by the previous regime, till its cost effectiveness is fully checked, a minister said yesterday.

Before the presidential election, then President Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremonially launched the project which was to be carried out under a loan agreement with China. The highway was due to link Colombo with Kandy via Kurunegala, and then Dambulla.

The new Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, said though such ceremonies were conducted to inaugurate the project, nothing had actually been done on the ground with regard to its implementation.

The Minister told Daily Mirror that costs appeared to have been inflated in most development projects, either executed or in the pipeline, and therefore it would be better to have a full-scale review to ascertain the cost in real terms.  “The cost has been estimated with corruption added on. We have to reduce root out corruption for more development work to be carried out with the funds available. The estimated cost is double the size of the actual cost in certain cases,” he said.   

Besides, the Minister said the new government had decided to stop payments for various dubious transactions committed during the previous regime.  

For instance, he said, 770 double cabs had been imported to the country during the last week of December purported to be used in election related work. “We will sell these vehicles to the public now. Likewise,   over 1800 vehicles were lying at the Presidential Secretariat. As a policy, we decided to use these vehicles for our duty related work without importing new ones,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)

  Comments - 63

  • Euclid Monday, 19 January 2015 08:04

    At last action. The Port City too has to stop. The white elephant airports and seaports should follow.

    Reply : 112       150

    sk Monday, 19 January 2015 15:58

    Either you must have born brain dead or your residence must be a mad house.

    Reply : 18       51

    sach Monday, 19 January 2015 19:49

    first it is not stated they are going to stop the project. they are re assessing or redoing the feasibility study. If Northern expressway goes ahead we will have a big environmental impact. Our wild life will be threatened. what is this country if its beautiful nature is destroyed. All these needs to be reassessed and reexamined and then a proper plan will come out.

    5       26

    Euclid Monday, 19 January 2015 08:04

    At last action. The Port City too has to stop. The white elephant airports and seaports should follow.

    Reply : 72       64

    Saranga Monday, 19 January 2015 11:45

    Thatz stupid. This is not a loan this is funded by Chinese company not Gov

    Reply : 43       61

    aruna Monday, 19 January 2015 15:05

    what a stupid action -to stop this, I waste so much time on colombo kandy road

    Reply : 4       45

    sri Monday, 19 January 2015 19:11

    Typical Sri Lankans !

    3       13

    moodayoo Monday, 19 January 2015 08:22

    Now we see the real colours of newly appointed politicians. How can a country improve its economy without having contemporary road network. They are pulling backwards.. obviously their motivation is to get the commissions by awarding theses large contacts to other contractors.. They have no clear visions nor perception , only playing selfish game.. soon or later people will realist their selfish motivation..

    Reply : 132       252

    kumara Monday, 19 January 2015 10:03

    in the end we have only what MR has done for this country

    Reply : 54       178

    K. C. John Monday, 19 January 2015 19:15

    And the "suddhas", eh?

    1       16

    panora Monday, 19 January 2015 11:04

    yessss...commies gahala hari anthimata basil hadapu paarawal tika witharai ithuru wenne...

    Reply : 14       92

    Lenny Monday, 19 January 2015 15:58

    You have to read this properly, the project is just put on hold until the costing is scrutinized.

    Reply : 9       51

    public Monday, 19 January 2015 08:26

    If you stop the expressway and road developments, you will very likely be booted out come April. Hope this delay is not too long, we can have corruption with roads, but NOT no corruption and no roads.

    Reply : 30       259

    Ravi De silva Monday, 19 January 2015 10:00


    Reply : 6       95

    Banu Monday, 19 January 2015 10:02

    Well said.

    Reply : 4       84

    Sammy Monday, 19 January 2015 10:37

    Suspension is not stopping. Any cost saving could be passed onto the benefit of the common man, by way of price reduction of essential goods. You can have roads with no corruption, as well.

    Reply : 9       74

    chandler Monday, 19 January 2015 11:36

    UNP started the rot in 1977 (JR), Prema mastered, Whisky practiced, MR continued. We are the losers. At least MR did something worthwhile.

    Reply : 18       80

    abr Monday, 19 January 2015 12:37

    Haste makes waste. Shows how little most of the reader know about finances and management. Most simply want a highway at any cost. Like a child in a candy

    Reply : 24       66

    senakak Monday, 19 January 2015 16:02

    and you of course know everything like and an adult. people like you are a cancer of the society.

    16       27

    lenny Monday, 19 January 2015 16:01

    Guys, read the article properly. It has been suspended until they review the costing......

    Reply : 5       15

    Pabilis Monday, 19 January 2015 18:13


    Reply : 3       14

    nalaka Monday, 19 January 2015 09:43

    this is to help northern CM and diaspora happy shame SLGOV shame

    Reply : 21       32

    HubertSilvaBpulle Monday, 19 January 2015 09:47

    When you speak about vehicles, what happened to the vehicles imported before the conference. Ben

    Reply : 0       13

    Shamil Monday, 19 January 2015 09:54

    There is no traffic conjesion in A9 road Northern expressway will be required atleast 15 years later when the infrastructure of Northern province widely improved. There are lot of families resides under UN shelter in Kilinochchi Mannar Vavuniya and Mullaitivu districts. What is the purpose of expressway to those poor mass. via DM Android App

    Reply : 22       59

    K. C. John Monday, 19 January 2015 19:21

    Absolute fact, Shamil, well said about the roads in the northern areas. The Kandy-Colombo highway is a necessity, though. But needs to be thoroughly evaluated before awarding contracts transparently awarded to competitive bidders.

    Reply : 1       15

    Shamil Monday, 19 January 2015 09:56

    Very good decision. I totally apprecite. Pls renovate internal roads of northern province. via DM Android App

    Reply : 32       48

    laankikiya Monday, 19 January 2015 09:59

    We need Kandy -Colombo expressway under any cost .pls do not dissapoint our people in Central region!!

    Reply : 15       65

    abr Monday, 19 January 2015 12:40

    What an immature mind. You are like a kid in a toy store

    Reply : 24       43

    Alex Monday, 19 January 2015 15:28

    Spoken like a true idiot.....

    Reply : 10       14

    Freedom Fighter Monday, 19 January 2015 10:00

    Please give each and every voting person of Rs. 100,000 as a start to their new lives to settle their debts or start a small business. I belive this government will feed the Rich and Poor as well. Hope a monetary change its socially accepted .

    Reply : 18       10

    TKspec Monday, 19 January 2015 10:02

    To showing transparency this government should publish previous cost per Previous Contactors and Current Cost per Current Contactors. Cost Effect Vs Value (Quality ) Effect upon this change. We dont have much confidence with both two major Political parties concerning their history.

    Reply : 2       31

    shantahapriya Monday, 19 January 2015 10:09


    Reply : 4       77

    Nihal Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:11

    We know well enough who Sathosa Lokka is.

    Reply : 0       0

    Sith Monday, 19 January 2015 11:11

    Read it properly people! Till cost effectiveness is fully checked. Dont just read heading :)

    Reply : 3       30

    gune Monday, 19 January 2015 11:15

    not only northern highway.Its already work has been stopped in southern express way from Matara to katatharagama.the Chinese contractors even sold the stocks of cement at lower rates.

    Reply : 1       22

    chathumina Monday, 19 January 2015 11:16

    April election will loss the new government. Express ways are compulsury for our country, trasportation n network should be well established for develop ing country.

    Reply : 1       39

    Devi Monday, 19 January 2015 11:28


    Reply : 4       9

    Alex Monday, 19 January 2015 15:27

    Yo turn off the caps lock :P

    Reply : 0       10

    AIA Monday, 19 January 2015 11:31

    It is malicious to say that even the Hambantota port and the mattala air port should stop operations. There might have been mass scale corruption in these projects, but these are infrastructure that has been commissioned. The responsibility of this government is to make them viable while consolidating on the development drive with better management/planning and accountability unlike the previous regime.Whatever it is MR has laid a foundation for this. We need to always look at the positives as well as the negatives.

    Reply : 0       53

    Lanka Monday, 19 January 2015 11:43

    Awesome, is this the change we wanted? All projects will stop now, the country is going backwards. Even if there are no corruptions, which i doubt, there is no point if the country is not improving

    Reply : 4       46

    Jothipala Monday, 19 January 2015 11:43

    High time this project abondoned, because we know very well what happened to Mahaveli Diversion Projet just vanished in the air passingMadachciya. If you are really interest ed start from the very northand come towards south

    Reply : 8       4

    sunil Monday, 19 January 2015 11:55

    reviewing does not mean stopping. what the minister has done is a positive step.

    Reply : 10       19

    gamini Monday, 19 January 2015 11:58

    Apparently people living in Sri lanka do not want development. That is why they ousted President rajapakse. People want to go to 18th century life style. Let them have it . That is their choise. People living in overseas do not need to worry. These countries build good road networks. We must praise these Governments. And we can have fun here. Sri Lankans too can enjoy without good road. Because they love it.Gamini

    Reply : 16       35

    Hadi Sheriff Monday, 19 January 2015 12:38

    @Gamini ground reality is misunderstood, development after feeding the poor with basic needs, it should be at minimum cost.I too dont trust minister Ravi who is an extravagant spender of state coffers.

    Reply : 2       15

    Kiri Gamarala Monday, 19 January 2015 11:58

    Suspension does not mean abandoned. Improving the connectivity with the north is a must.

    Reply : 4       26

    Kolitha Herath Monday, 19 January 2015 12:01

    Sure, put a stop to corruption. This road development should not be stopped. Stop corruption while development is going on unabated.

    Reply : 4       35

    ANTON Monday, 19 January 2015 12:26


    Reply : 3       22

    Aruna Monday, 19 January 2015 12:37

    SL’s ever biggest devlpmnt projct the Port City is now canclld coz the commiss already gone with MR government contractors, nothing left for new govnmnt. Anyway we do not want to see everyday probes, allegations with stagnated e country.

    Reply : 2       29

    Jayasri Monday, 19 January 2015 15:38

    Lets be hard on the problem and soft on the people; it is better we do not confuse ourselves between the two.

    Reply : 0       4

    Damitha malalarathne Monday, 19 January 2015 15:39

    සතොස කෑවා වගේ පාරත් කපන්

    Reply : 4       31

    Nims Monday, 19 January 2015 15:59

    Ranil, Mangala must understand that Sri Lanka can never survive without China. If not for China US would have been declared bankrupt long time ago.

    Reply : 4       35

    Sam Monday, 19 January 2015 18:27

    This is the end of golden era of Sri Lanka. This is what TNA and Muslim congress wants. MR is the only leader who can develop SL like Singapore. Now country heading to Tamil nadu or Afghanistan under new government.

    Reply : 20       27

    aruna Monday, 19 January 2015 19:06

    Fully agree. Forget about development. See stock market going down as well.

    Reply : 2       14

    das Saturday, 24 January 2015 11:30

    Really, what is our national debt?

    Reply : 0       0

    srivan Monday, 19 January 2015 19:04

    The pre-feasibiliity study of the project should be done by a competent team of economists and road engineers before proceeding further. And tenders should be called. The Financial Regulation has to be re-instated.

    Reply : 1       3

    Saranga Saturday, 24 January 2015 15:14

    It was done by SMEC International Australia

    Reply : 0       0

    Patriot Monday, 19 January 2015 19:54

    New FM Ravi K. should submit a report to the people as to how much ex.pres.Rajapakse borrowed upto now from China and how are we going to pay them.At the moment world economy is slowing down and investments are getting lower.Also if Ravi K. could develop our Railway system and start a FERRY system on Colombo-Chilaw-Mannar-Jaffna, and Colombo -Galle-Matara-Hambanthota for both Passenger and Goods Transport could safe a lot of fuel cost.Please think on more practical and cost effective plans. Get involved in more local Private/public enterprise partnership projects.

    Reply : 1       6

    Nalin Tuesday, 20 January 2015 09:07

    iwarai iwaraiyaha palanaya

    Reply : 0       7

    Fazlulhaque Tuesday, 20 January 2015 15:06

    MS in election compaign said that the on going development work will be continued more effective by proper management of funds without going to the pockets of commission agents. Therefore let us wait and see what is going to happen without jumping to conclusion.

    Reply : 8       5

    bima Saturday, 24 January 2015 04:58


    Reply : 0       0

    Pra Sunday, 25 January 2015 19:57

    This road plan to go through the fertile paddy fields.First root is better. Thanks to MY3 and Ranil it stop.

    Reply : 0       0

    saliya Friday, 6 February 2015 10:20

    My vote will depend on this project... we need this expressway badly.

    Reply : 0       0

    herath Thursday, 19 March 2015 17:39

    this is a sloppy governement they can do nothing using the phrase good governance .it is just a buzz word for their survival.this country is desperate for highways . but they waste time we cant keep pace with other countries.

    Reply : 0       0

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